A beautiful woodland walk following the river.
Whatever the season, this woodland walk is a beautiful amble. Dappled light shines through the canopy, shimmering water gushes downstream and there’s a good café at the end, to round off the walk nicely. On a summer’s day let the children enjoy paddling and splashing in the water and a picnic snack on one of the many river beaches (read more about them here) or, in the colder months, see the trees turn copper on a lovely Autumnal walk and don a pair of wellies for wading and squelching through mud.
There are great walks of varying lengths. The black route is the most buggy accessible, red and purple will require slings for little ones or for older children to be good walkers as hills are involved. Fantastic views and a great way to tire out older children! Check out the map here.
While it’s National Trust, there is no need for membership (non-members pay £2 for parking while members can park for free – just remember to scan your card.)
Route map: can be picked up from the van in the car park or downloaded here
Walk type: Woodland river walk, mostly flat but a good hill on the way back.
Length: Varying paths but our favourite with the kids is the purple walk: 30min -1 hour
Distance: Purple walk: 1.8 miles
Little ones’ transport mode: To complete the loop, then we advise babies and young toddlers in slings or back packs. Older kids will enjoy this mostly easy walk. The black route is buggy a friendly walk but in the wet months may be muddy so more of an all-terrain buggy route rather than pushchair.
Footwear: Decent footwear. Paths can be muddy and watch out for the tree roots on the surface.
Dog friendly: Yes. Just keep them on a lead when cattle are grazing and pick up after them (bins only at the beginning/ end of the walk)
Snap shot of what’s at Parke:
- Walks of varying lengths and for different abilities
- National trust cafe
- Picnic tables in the orchard
- Stoney river beaches (read more about them here)
- Toilets & Baby Changing on a pull down jobby in the corridor between the mens’ and ladies’ loo.
- River and bridge to play pooh sticks
- Walled garden
- Weir – Read about it’s significance here
Scorcher of a day?
Too fiercely hot for the beach but want to enjoy the water?
Head to Parke for their river beaches and relax in the dappled light with your toes in the water, knowing that the little one is safe from the burning sun. Read about our top river beaches here.
How to get there
Near Bovey Tracey, TQ13 9JQ.
Need to know
Loos & Baby changing?
Yes. Open all year round behind Parke House. From the café, it’s either down a couple of steps or around the loop if you have a pram. Baby changing is a pull-down plastic jobby in the corridor between the male and female loos – no excuses here for the dads.
Estate and walks: Dawn to dusk
Café: Open daily.
Easter to end October 10:00 – 17:00
November – Easter 10:00 – 16:00
Evening meals from 7pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Car parking £2
Free for NT members (although do remember to scan your membership card as the NT gets funding for each visitor)
Anything else to do?
- Have a moment’s calm (*ahem relative calm!) and sit down on a blanket at one of the River Beaches or benches)
- Spot the fairy house in the woods – a great way to keep tired legs going.
- A well-deserved lunch or ice cream at Home Farm Café on the way back to the car park.
- Walled garden to spot what is growing, admire and discuss where different food comes from (if closed, there are adult and child height peekaboo holes).
- Cycling trials along the old railway track.
- Kids can complete the ‘Spot til you drop sheets’ for the different seasons. Information here and sheets available from the van in the car park
- Orienteering. Maps can be downloaded here.
- Tick off loads of your 50 things to do before you’re 11¾. View the full list here.
If the mood takes you, return for a Parkrun on Saturday mornings.